Economic impact of higher education on students, corporations and society

Peter Arena, Tim Carroll, Suzanne Lyons, Liang Zhang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Using human capital as a backdrop, this article describes the economic impacts of higher education on students, corporations, and society with a focus on economic benefits rather than costs. Economic benefits for individuals accrue primarily in the form of earnings increases associated with higher education; considerable variations exist across institutions, majors, and individual characteristics. Corporations rely on higher education institutions for skilled and diverse workforce; they also benefit from research alliances with higher education institutions, which in turn facilitate the commercialization of academic research. Finally, higher education institutions contribute to economic development significantly at the societal level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Education
Subtitle of host publicationFourth Edition
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780128186299
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Benefits
  • Corporations
  • Costs
  • Economic impact
  • Higher education
  • Human capital
  • Public good
  • Research
  • Society
  • Students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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